The Anaheim Ducks have ended their 12-game losing streak and started a one-game winning streak, thanks to a 3-0 win over the Wild. This was a matchup of teams in transition, as both the Ducks and the Wild are undergoing renovations with multiple trades over the past few days.
John Gibson owners can breathe a sigh of relief. The Ducks’ overworked goalie stopped all 37 shots he faced in picking up the shutout. Since his last game off on December 18, Gibson had appeared in 11 consecutive games and not picked up a single victory – a span of nearly an entire month. Despite the win, the Ducks were outshot 37-23, so it’s hard to imagine a massive turnaround. The Ducks are in a logjam for one of the final two wild card spots in the Western Conference, so it’s clear that Gibson will need to carry this team if they are going to make the playoffs. But in the meantime, he may continue to have a tough time earning wins.
Gibson was THIS close from losing his shutout… uh, that might even be a goal. You decide. Don’t worry, Gibson owners, you won’t lose your shutout as a result of a stats correction.
There is fantasy value to be had in Anaheim at the moment, believe it or not. With a goal on Thursday, Rickard Rakell now has goals in three consecutive games and points in four consecutive games. With time missed due to injury and his points-per-game down (from 0.9 last season to 0.69 this season), Rakell is a potential buy-low candidate. Plus he is eligible at all three forward positions on Yahoo!
By the way, newly acquired Devin Shore lined up with Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf, recording an assist. Shore has recorded at least 30 points in each of his previous two seasons, so Shore could end up being what we thought Pontus Aberg might have been in Anaheim.
Below are the trade articles involving the Wild. Click on the author’s name to read.
Aberg for Justin Kloos (Cam Robinson)
So with Aberg in the lineup (but no Rask yet), here is how the Wild’s lines shook out on Thursday against Aberg’s former team:
#1 30.6% GRANLUND,MIKAEL – KOIVU,MIKKO – ZUCKER,JASON
#2 16.1% GREENWAY,JORDAN – KUNIN,LUKE – STAAL,ERIC
#3 13.9% ABERG,PONTUS – COYLE,CHARLIE – PARISE,ZACH
#4 9.4% BROWN,J.T. – ERIKSSON EK,JOEL – FOLIGNO,MARCUS
So as Cam mentioned, Aberg was on a line with Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise, which is not a bad spot for him to be in. Even better was the fact that Aberg was given an audition on the first-unit power play. In spite of the favorable usage, Aberg was held without a point in 15 minutes of icetime in his Wild debut. Since Aberg was often deployed with Getzlaf while in Anaheim, it seems as though teams are willing to try him with their top scorers. But if he’s not scoring, teams don’t want him in their lineups. I added Aberg for a few weeks during his run in Anaheim, but I’d be looking for continued icetime with Coyle/Parise and consistent scoring before adding Aberg again.
Two other notes about the Wild:
After a win against LA on Tuesday, Alex Stalock was given his second consecutive start on Thursday. However, any worry that Devan Dubnyk owners had about Stalock stealing the job was short lived, as Stalock was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on eight shots.
Zach Parise fired 11 shots on goal on Thursday, giving him 21 shots over his last three games.
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Thursday also featured some potential in-division playoff matchups with the Leafs taking on the Lightning and the Jets taking on the Predators.
In the Toronto/Tampa game, Frederik Andersen was back to his old self, stopping 36 of 38 shots in the Leafs’ 4-2 win. His return should provide the Leafs with the stability that they seemed to be missing while he was sidelined.
Mitch Marner has now scored goals in four consecutive games and has 13 goals in his last 14 games. He’s now the first player in the long history of the Maple Leafs franchise to record 60 points in each of his first three seasons.
Brayden Point had already reached 60 points, and now he has reached 30 goals with his goal on Thursday. Point is the third player to reach the 30-goal mark this season.
Tyler Johnson left Thursday’s game after the second period with a lower-body injury. He is expected to be re-evaluated tomorrow.
Brendan Lemieux scored twice in 10 minutes of icetime to lead the Jets to a 5-1 win over their divisional rivals in Nashville. Lemieux had not scored since his last two-goal game, which was on December 31 against Edmonton.
With his goal on Thursday, Brandon Tanev now has seven points over his last nine games. That’s not bad in and among itself, but his real value is in leagues that count hits. With 148 hits on the season, Tanev is in the top 10 in the league in that category. He also has 11 goals, which is more goals than any of the names above him in the hits category. He’s only 16 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, so go get him if you need to improve your hits total without sacrificing much in scoring.
Viktor Arvidsson scored the lone goal for Nashville. I’m usually hesitant to trade for players while they are injured, but if you’re less risk averse and pulled the trigger on an Arvidsson trade while he was injured, you’re laughing. Arvidsson has now scored 10 goals over his last 10 games.
Robin Lehner had an easy time on Thursday, facing just 17 shots in the Islanders’ 4-1 win over the Devils. Lehner has now won 10 of his last 11 games. Among goalies that have played at least 20 games, Lehner leads the league in both goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.928). At what point is it safe to put him into the Vezina Trophy conversation? Before you scoff at the idea, remember that his coach is Barry Trotz and his goalie coach is Mitch Korn, both of whom have a proven track record with goalies. In the league where I own Lehner (and picked him up off the waiver wire, lucky me), only Laurent Brossoit (who has played half as many games as Lehner) is a higher-ranked goalie. The league counts wins, GAA, and SV%.
#Isles Barry Trotz said it's a possibility Robin Lehner could play back to back nights and face Caps tomorrow in DC. "He's rested enough, yeah," Trotz said after Lehner made 16 saves in 4-1 win over #NJDevils
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) January 18, 2019
In spite of his rough start, Nick Leddy has scored eight points (all assists) over his last 10 games. Even though his overall production (one goal and 18 points in 46 games) might not cut it for your team, he is still receiving first-unit power-play time for the Islanders. It might only be a matter of time before he is moved off the first unit, considering that the Islanders’ power play is in the bottom third of the league. The last time I checked, though, first-unit power-play time matters for defensemen. Leddy has reached the 40-point mark in each of his previous three seasons, so he’ll be doing his job for your roster if he assumes a half-point-per-game pace for the rest of the season. I think that’s worth a buy-low pickup.
Jack Campbell is the backup goalie for the bottom-dwelling Kings and is only 8 percent owned in Yahoo leagues. So why would he have fantasy value? Well, with a 30-save win over Dallas on Thursday, Campbell has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last seven starts. That equates to a 1.30 GAA and .959 SV% since November 3. But over those seven starts, he has won just three games. Jonathan Quick is a fixture in the Kings’ net, but Willie D must find a way to start Campbell more than once every three or four games.
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.